Extreme stuttering in KWin with Nvidia proprietary drivers (X11)

Hi! I’m running EndeavourOS (6.6.7-arch1-1 kernel) with Plasma 5.27.10 using KWin as the compositor. My GPU is a GTX1060 and I run Nvidia’s proprietary drivers (nvidia on EOS’s repositories).

My experience with KDE and KWin had been flawless until this morning, when a system update introduced extreme stuttering to KWin’s compositor. The issue seems to be related to KWin’s compositor specifically, as everything seems to behave properly if I toggle compositing with Alt+Shift+F12. Issues disappear for about ten seconds when I re-enable compositing, but they come back soon after.

I followed all setup/troubleshooting steps I could find in the Arch Wiki, the KDE Community Forums and the KDE subreddit, including reinstalling the drivers and toggling the options in nvidia-settings (vblank sync, flipping, composition pipeline) that lots of people with similar issues cite as solutions.

Performance is great if I switch to the FOSS nouveau drivers, but that makes games launched with Steam’s Proton compatibility layer crash on launch, so I would prefer to keep running the proprietary drivers for now (unless there’s a simple solution I to Proton’s issues with nouveau, though at that point that’s outside the scope of this forum).

I’ve exhausted all sources I could find, so I’m opening this thread in case this is a known issue and/or there are troubleshooting steps I might have missed to bring my compositor back to normal.

Thanks in advance!

I would suggest creating another user account and test if the issue persists on this user on a cold login (shutdown and log in to the new user account first). There may be some corrupted cache or config file in your user folder, X, Kwin or Plasma. Maybe…

No problems on my system with no updates missing as of the writing of this comment.

OS: KDE neon 5.27
KDE Plasma Version: 5.27.10
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.113.0
Qt Version: 5.15.11
Kernel Version: 6.2.0-39-generic (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Graphics Processor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB/PCIe/SSE2

Hi! Thanks for answering.
Issues persisted on a new user account, so the stuttering doesn’t seem to be coming from my user folder at the very least.
I do like the corrupted cache idea, though. Are there any particular temp files/cache I should look into wiping?


Hi, this issue also happens me since I’ve been using Linux and doesn’t happen at all with Gnome.

It might look like it’s an Nvidia issue, but it also happens with AMD GPUs and even Godot Developers documented that stutter is common with KWin and suggests to disable compositor to prevent this problem (Fixing jitter, stutter and input lag — Godot Engine (stable) documentation in English).

Is there a way to reduce this behavior, or we have to wait until Plasma 6 is officially released?

This issue doesn’t happen with Wayland at all, but Plasma + Wayland + Nvidia is just terrible.

I also have such a similar problem with KWin under X11 with an Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU.
The system is usable but slowly over time (over a period of 2-3 weeks) becomes more and more stuttering until I restart kwin_x11 (either using DISPLAY=:0 kwin_x11 --replace & in a shell or by sending a SIGINT to kwin_x11 to have it crash and automatically restart). Disabling compositing also fixes the problem, with the disadvantage of not having any compositing anymore.
I had this problem since at least Plasma 5.26.6 and it is still present with 5.26.10.

I don’t know if kwin_wayland fixes the problem as the Wayland session is not very function in 5.27 due to lack of nicely functioning fractional scaling. Note that I have found a bug report about the same/similar problem on Wayland with an AMD GPU.